Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers that may be of interest to you.
We want to assist you in any way we can. If you have a question about our clinic or services, please see the Frequently Asked Questions list below. If these FAQ’s do not answer your question, feel free to use the Contact Us form or telephone 604-534-9121. Thank you.
Naturopathic Medicine FAQ
Q. Are Naturopathic Doctors recognized and regulated?
A. Yes. Naturopathic Doctors (ND) in British Columbia (BC) are recognized as a designated health profession under the Health Professions Act [RSBC 1996] Chapter 183. The Naturopathic Physicians Regulation entitles ND's licensed in BC authority to use the reserved title Doctor. Naturopathic Medicine has been a separate regulated profession in British Columbia since 1936 and currently has one of the widest scopes of practice in Canada. In BC, the practice of all licensed Naturopathic Doctors is regulated by the College of Naturopathic Physicians of British Columbia (CNPBC).
Q. How much training do Naturopathic Doctors (ND) receive?
A. After completing a minimum 3 years of pre-med sciences and/or receiving a baccalaureate degree at a recognized university, it takes at least four more years of rigorous full-time study at an accredited naturopathic medical school to become trained and qualified for the Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine (ND) degree. After graduation and passing licensing examinations, a minimum of 20 hours Continuing Medical Education courses are required annually to maintain licensure and proficiency in BC.
Q. Is the cost of naturopathic medicine covered by the BC provincial health care plan (MSP)?
A. No, the costs for Naturopathic medical services are not covered by BC Medical Services Plan (MSP); however, most extended medical plans provide coverage for both visit and laboratory testing fees. If you have an extended medical insurance policy, and are unsure of your coverage, we suggest you contact your insurance company and ask them to explain your exact policy limits and details regarding reimbursement for naturopathic medical services.
Note: In special circumstances, patients who receive Premium Assistance from the BC Ministry of Health for their Medical Services Plan (MSP) benefits are eligible for a small reimbursement directly from MSP for each of their naturopathic visits up to a combined maximum of ten visits per calendar year. There are some restrictions, so if you are unsure of your status or eligibility, please ask our receptionist for details or visit the link to BC Ministry of Health Supplementary Health Care Benefits.
Q. How much does it cost to see a Naturopathic Doctor? I do not have an extended medical insurance plan.
A. The costs of a visit to see a Naturopathic Doctor varies depending on both the type and length of visit. The fees charged at different clinics may also vary from clinic to clinic. At the Family Health Clinic in Langley, BC we strive to offer both value and excellence in the services we offer. Our fees are typically equal to, or in a few cases slightly less, than the BC Naturopathic Association fee guidelines. Please feel free to call us at 604-534-9121 to inquire about our current office visit fees. We would be happy to answer any questions about our fees with you.
Q. How do I know if I am eligible for your clinic's "Family Plan Discount" or "Super Saver Discount"?
A. Since September 1, 2014 we started offering two separate 10% discount options for our patients. The "Family Plan Discount" provides subsequent members of the same immediate family who are living under the same roof a 10% discount off their return office visit fees. The other discount, called the "Super Saver Discount" offers a 10% discount when a single one time dispensary purchase for an individual or the entire family totals $300 or more before taxes. Click here for more details about specific eligibility requirements for either of these discount options.
Q. Can I have both a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) and a Medical Doctor (MD)?
A. Yes. Naturopathic Doctors are able to work co-operatively with Medical Doctors and other health care practitioners. Naturopathic Doctors can offer a whole new arsenal of treatments and insights of which you may not have been aware.
Q. Do I need a referral to see a Naturopathic Doctor?
A. No referral is required.
Q. How do I make an appointment to see a doctor at the Family Health Clinic?
A. To make an appointment call 604-534-9121. Or you may prefer to drop in to our clinic. Either way please contact us and talk to a staff member who may be able to answer any questions you may have about whether we might be able to help you. We do not make appointments via email. A direct discussion with a staff member on the phone or in person will allow us to help you in a more efficient and timely manner.
Q. I need to change or re-schedule my appointment. How much advance notice do you require?
A. We ask you to notify us by telephone at least 2 working days (48 hours) prior to your scheduled visit if you need to make any changes to your appointment, otherwise a late cancellation fee will be charged. We do not book or change appointments by email. We do understand that unexpected illness and emergencies occur and we will accommodate for those instances. Thank you for your consideration.
Q. How often will I need to see my Naturopathic Doctor?
A. The number of visits can vary depending on the condition for which you are being treated. For example, in an acute illness such as respiratory illness or a flu you may require only one or two visits. Solving health problems of long standing conditions may take a series of visits spread out over a number of months. Once well, many patients see us only once a year for an annual check-in or tune-up, similar to seeing their dentist or eye doctor.
Q. Am I too old to have a Naturopathic Doctor?
A. Too old? Not likely! Our Family Health Clinic Naturopathic Doctors offer a customized approach to health care where treatment plans are tailored to suit individual needs. More people of all ages are recovering or improving their health by adding naturopathic medicine to their health care options.
Q. What is the working relationship between Naturopathic Doctors and Medical Doctors?
A. Naturopathic Doctors (ND) will co-operate with all branches of medicine referring patients to other practitioners for diagnosis and treatment where appropriate. Naturopathic Doctors are well trained in potential interactions between natural medicines and prescription drugs. Consequently, ND's are capable of providing safe treatment options to patients who are also under the care of Medical Doctors.
Q. What is the difference between a Naturopathic Doctor and a Homeopath?
A. A Homeopath uses only homeopathic medicines in treatment. A Naturopathic Doctor is trained in homeopathy as well as many other forms of natural healing therapies and will develop a treatment plan utilizing the best indicated form of natural therapy which may include a variety of treatment options.
For more FAQ and Answers see the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Physicians website. Also, please call us at 604-534-9121 with any other questions you may have about our clinic or services.
Midwifery Care FAQ
Q. Is Midwifery care regulated?
A. Midwives have been regulated and legally recognized as autonomous health care practitioners in British Columbia (BC) since 1998 under the BC Health Professions Act. In BC Registered Midwives (RM) are registered with and regulated by the College of Midwives of British Columbia (CMBC).
Q. Is the cost of Midwifery care covered in BC?
A. BC Ministry of Health funding covers the cost of midwifery care for all BC residents with a valid Care Card through the BC Medical Services Plan. It is important to note that coverage is provided for only one type of health care provider for healthy pregnancies in BC.
Q. Do I need a referral to see a Midwife?
A. No referral is required.
Q. When should I call to make my first appointment with a Midwife?
A. Contact a midwife as soon as you know you are pregnant. Midwifery practices may become full quickly depending on the community and practice volume, however you can call at any time as spaces may become available or a practice may not be full for any given month.
Q. How long will a midwife be able to care for me and my baby?
A. Midwifery care for healthy pregnant women and their babies starts from early pregnancy, through labour and birth, and continues up to six weeks postpartum for normal routine care. At six weeks postpartum, when your midwifery care is completed, you will be transferred back to your family physician who will resume responsibility for the health of you and your new baby. Families who do not have a family doctor are responsible for making arrangements for their ongoing primary care. Your midwife can provide you with more information on finding a physician for your family.
Q. I'm more than half way through my pregnancy and I have been in the care of my family doctor until now. Can I transfer to a Midwife or is it too late?
A. Yes, it is possible to transfer care at any time in pregnancy, however with the high demand for midwives, it may be difficult to find an available practice.
Q. Can I choose where I give birth: at home or in hospital?
A. Midwives offer the choice of birthplace to healthy, low risk women based on the principles of informed decision making. On average, 70% of births attended by midwives occur in hospitals. This number varies by practice, community, your prior birth experience, and your midwifery provider.
Q. Could complications rule out Midwifery care?
A. This is possible depending on your personal circumstances. During your initial visit, the midwives should be able to give you an idea of whether or not the care you need is covered by their scope of practice. Should complications arise while in a midwife's care at any time, the College of Midwives of BC guidelines will help inform the decision to consult with or transfer care to the appropriate physician or specialist.
Q. What pain relief options are available to me in a "natural childbirth"?
A. Well before you are in natural labour and delivery, pain management is something your midwife will have carefully discussed with you during your prenatal visits. Because you will fully understand all of your options before labour begins (called informed choice), your midwife will be able support you with the best care based on your birth plan as well as their experience.
Q. What happens if I have to have a C-section?
A. Choosing a midwife as your primary care provider in BC lowers your chance of having a Cesarean section however, in certain circumstances a cesarean birth may be recommended as a safer option than vaginal birth. In most situations midwives are involved in the decision making process whether in labour or prenatally, and will usually be present during Cesarean births and for healthy baby care afterwards. Women remain in the hospital longer after a Cesarean section birth, therefore midwives visit women and their babies in hospital until they have returned home.
Q. What if I have a problem unrelated to pregnancy?
A. Women continue to see their family physician, or other specialist physician, for health issues unrelated to pregnancy.
Q. What is the working relationship between Midwives and Obstetricians?
A. Midwives consult with family doctors, obstetricians, pediatricians, and other specialists as the need arises. The CMBC guideline lists reasons for discussion, consultation, and transfer to a physician or other specialist.
Q. What is the difference between a Midwife and a Doula?
A. Doulas do not provide medical care and do not deliver babies. Midwives are trained to provide all the necessary medical care and to monitor the health and well-being of you and your baby. Doulas work as a part of the team, with a midwife or doctor and nurse. Doulas provide continuous emotional and physical support to the laboring woman and her partner, and are a positive addition to the birth team for couples who want extra support.
For more FAQ and Answers see the Midwives Association of BC website. Also, please call us at 604-534-9121 with any other questions you may have about our clinic or services.